Due to a recent increase in COVID-19 cases, the Downtown Paris Association’s Executive Board has made modifications to the upcoming Christmas events, with the North Pole Family Fun Day, Advent Walk and Holly Jolly Electric Christmas Parade all cancelled.
At this time, plans are that Santa Claus will still be in his house on the Henry County Courthouse lawn, but his house has been remodeled to allow children to visit with Santa without direct contact.
The Santa house also has a new look, also thanks to the shop class at Henry County High School.
“It is vital that we do everything possible to support all of our local businesses through these challenging times,” according to Travis McLeese, Executive Director of the Downtown Paris Association. “At this moment the best way to support local businesses is to help them stay open and to assist our healthcare community by promoting social distancing and eliminating our events that would cause people to gather in large groups.”
At this time, the organization hopes to have Santa in his house and available to meet children December 5th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., December 6th and 13th from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., and on December 12th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Santa’s house has been remodeled by the shop class at Henry County High School and now includes a “Dutch door” that will allow children to visit with Santa without coming in direct contact with him. The students are instructed by John Harrison.
On Saturday, December 12th, plans are to proceed with the other festivities during the “Christmas Festival.” More details on those modified plans will be released in the near future as the group continues to monitor the Covid situation.
In a proactive step, the organization developed a Christmas light platform that will allow locals to submit their residential or commercial Christmas light displays onto a digital site. Once submitted, others will be able to access the database and through GPS technology will be able to experience lights throughout the community.
Although the Advent Walk is canceled, a video is in production that will highlight our local religious community and celebrate the Advent season.
The Festival of Trees will continue to operate at the Old 5 &10 Event Center starting November 24th through December 16th.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding,” McLeese said. “I can assure you that we are doing everything we can to make decisions that are in the best interest of the entire community.”